If you're interested in getting fit and healthy, the best thing to do is create a workout routine – not only will this make you more motivated to exercise, but you'll also be more likely to see results. So here are my top ten tips for anyone who wants to start working out, but isn't sure where to begin...
Nicola from Nic's Healthy Life is a health & fitness fanatic living in London and blogging in the hope of inspiring you to live your healthiest life.
1. Find something you love
The most important factor to consider when starting a new workout routine is finding something you enjoy doing. If you force yourself to do an exercise you hate, you're going to give up pretty soon. You might need to try a few things before you find something you truly love (or at least don't loathe). You could try yoga, swimming, running...whatever takes your fancy. If you're not yet confident enough to hit the gym or work out in public, start by exercising at home. If you don't have any equipment there are plenty of exercises you can do that use your own body weight.
2. Make a plan. Write it down
Decide when you will have time to work out and what you're going to do and write it down as an appointment in your diary/phone calendar. This will make you more likely to stick to it. You could also download a fitness app and type in your goals for the week or month. The important thing is just towrite them down somewhere – you'll feel more motivated and accountable by doing so.
3. Mix it up
Don't get stuck in a rut by doing the same things all the time. That can get boring really quickly. Taking a different route on your run or adding some new exercises to your routine that you've been meaning to try will keep things fresh. Variety is the spice of life, after all.
4. Buy new gear
A great way to make yourself want to work out is to invest in some new fitness clothing that you love. It should be bright, fun and make you feel confident when you put it on. You'll be more likely to want to get out there and work out because you'll be excited to wear it.
5. Exercise with a friend
This will make you more accountable and therefore more likely to show up. You won't want to let the other person down and let's face it, exercise is usually more fun with someone else. It can be a good way to spend some quality time together and you can offer each other support and encouragement.
6. Pay for a class or personal trainer
If you're not very good at motivating yourself, a personal trainer is ideal. They won't let you sit around eating cake because you can't be bothered to get up. Paying for an exercise class in advance is another good trick because you'll feel like you've already committed and probably won't want to waste the money. Make sure it's a class doing something you enjoy, not something you dread the thought of.
7. Keep a fitness diary
Another way to keep yourself accountable is to log your workouts in a fitness diary. I've written a whole post over on my blog about how to start one and the benefits of doing so, which you can read here.
8. Stick motivational notes around the house
Find some quotes online that inspire you and either print them off or make your own craft project by writing them out and decorating with eye-catching colours and pictures. Hang them in strategic places around your home to give you a little motivation when you're not feeling it.
9. Practise visualisation
Right now, sitting in your cosy house or sunny garden, the thought of swapping it for the gym seems ridiculous. A good book and a massive bowl of ice cream are probably a thousand times more appealing. So what you have to do is make the workout seem more appealing. Impossible? Not really. Just imagine yourself achieving your goals – maybe you finally have the body you've been working for, are able to run a 5k or just climb the stairs without getting out of breath. You're fit, healthy and full of energy. Close your eyes and really picture these things happening. Now, how are you going to make them a reality? Not by watching Netflix all day. It's simply a matter of prioritising what you want most over what you want right now.
Which brings us nicely on to the final tip...
10. Make a fitness goal to work towards
You should always have goals, and setting a specific target to achieve is a great way to motivate yourself. An example would be to sign up for a 5k or half marathon so you have something definite to work towards. Remind yourself of this goal every time you don't feel like training.
The hardest step is the first one out of the door and you know you'll feel better after your workout - so get off the internet and go move your body!
Do you have any fitness motivation tips? Let us know in the comments
For more Nutrition & fitness advice, blogging tips and snippets from Nic's Healthy Life take a look at her fantastic site and follow her on twitter.